South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, right, shakes hands with North Korean Vice Sports Minister Won Kil U during a meeting at Pyongyang Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Korea Pool via AP)

South Korean basketball players arrive for games in North

South Korean basketball teams and officials arrived on Tuesday to take part in the inter-Korean basketball match in Pyongyang.

Dozens of South Korean basketball players arrived in North Korea’s capital on Tuesday for a series of games the two Koreas hope will foster a spirit of detente generated by the recent North-South summit meetings.

The 50 players arrived in Pyongyang on two military aircraft.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon headed the delegation, which included 20 government officials and support staff and dozens of South Korean reporters.

North Korea’s deputy sports minister, Won Kil U, led the North’s welcoming party.

The South Korean male and female basketball players are expected to play four matches with North Koreans on Wednesday and Thursday. It was not clear whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would attend any of the games, but he did make a prominent appearance at a concert put on by South Korean musicians in Pyongyang earlier this year.

The exchanges are the latest result of a diplomatic outreach to the South that Kim announced during his annual New Year’s speech. That led to the North’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February and two summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Kim has also had three summits with China’s leader and met with U.S. President Donald Trump last month in Singapore.

Cho, the South Korean unification minister, said he felt “deeply moved” upon arrival because he could sense the change in relations in the past few months.

Related: North Korea commits to ‘complete denuclearization’

Related: US plans for dismantling NKorea nukes may face resistance

Basketball diplomacy has something of a history in North Korea.

Basketball made international headlines from Pyongyang when former NBA player Dennis Rodman arranged a game there in 2014 for Kim’s birthday.

South Korea’s Hyundai company built a basketball stadium in Pyongyang during the “Sunshine Period” of engagement between the North and South and a joint game was played there in 2003.

Two rounds of inter-Korean basketball games were held before that, in 1999.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

TransLink reveals new plans for proposed Surrey-Langley SkyTrain

No cost estimates, but the Fraser Highway line is expected to open by 2025

South Surrey thrill-seeker riding his way to world stage

Jack Roach, 15, bringing home hardware in motorcycle racing

White Rock business owner solves common problem with new product

Rolf Effertz says the PHLiPBiT is a “Why didn’t I think of that?” creation

Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers named Tsumura Basketball Invitational champs

Panthers beat Burnaby South Rebels for Tsumura Basketball Invitational title

VIDEO: Gingerbread village competition benefits Surrey Christmas Bureau

Display set up until Dec. 16 at Central City mall

VIDEO: Santa arrives in Clover Square Mall

To all the children’s delight, Santa came crashing into Cloverdale

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read